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    Jesse Ferrell

    Hurricane Irma Key West before and after aerials detail destruction

    By Jesse Ferrell, AccuWeather meteorologist
    9/17/2017, 8:33:17 PM

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    NOAA has released the final set of aerial images over the Florida Keys, providing the chance for the residents there to get a bird's eye view of their property to see if it survived the storm. We can also look at before and after images to tell how things have changed. Here are a few examples (left is "before" and right is "after" -- slide the bar from right to left to see the difference -- CHROME OR FIREFOX REQUIRED). If you'd like to look at the images as a slideshow, you can see them all on the album on my WeatherMatrix Facebook page.

    There are two different ways you can access this imagery to browse yourself: The NOAA Coastal website , the USAA website, and the Google Crisis website. Each should give you an option to see previous imagery, though the instructions will be different.

    These images (enlarge) show the massive damage to the "Avenues" in Big Pine Key, Florida:

    Watson Road was overwashed with debris near the bridge, and almost every home on that part of the island was heavily damaged (enlarge).

    This image (enlarge) shows Knight Key's mobile home park. I assume that many of these mobile homes were evacuated, because I see no sign of them being washed into the bays or ocean. Note the shipping container in the upper right have been moved, and there are a couple boats/trailers still sitting around, along with a construction crew ready to get to work.

    Next up is Fanny Key Island on Key West (enlarge), home to only one house. I can't tell for sure if this is the same house, or they were building a new one. In any case, no roof. All the trees on the island are gone but there is some vegetation remaining. The shipwreck at top is now submerged.

    I also found another shot from Marathon (enlarge), this time a mobile home park. Note some trailers, cars and boats have been moved or tipped over (upper left) and there is much debris strewn around by the winds and storm surge.

    A number of houses were destroyed in this residential Marathon, Florida, scene (enlarge); some boats and cars floated into yards.

    Down the road in this marina (enlarge), boats were scattered around -- and through -- the main building. While yes, boats float, these almost all assuredly have serious damage that you can't see from above.

    One final RV park in Marathon is shown below (enlarge). This one, again, I assume was evacuated. Although some of the bushes appear undamaged, the evacuation was likely a good idea, as the storm surge would have put this entire area under water (and parts of the park are still under dank, brown water.

    In Marathon, one small house (upper left) was carried across the road and flipped 180 degrees by the storm surge, as these next images (enlarge) show. The trail/bike path at the top is under water. A porch is missing and severe roof damage was done to a second home (brown, center right). Debris (I'm not even sure of the origin) is plastered in the woods behind the trail.

    The Long Key Waste Management building (enlarge) lost most of its roof which was deposited in bay and woods. The parking lot was flooded, as was a truck left there. A couple of those large, heavy metal shipping containers may have been moved.

    The Key West Naval Air Station land was still submerged (enlarge) days later when this photo was taken -- only the runways remained above water, and they were no doubt below the level of the sea as well when Hurricane Irma swept over the area.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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    Jesse Ferrell